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Top Tech: Rx for Student Success

By Domanique Jordan

SOC Geet Jeswani (SOC/BA '15)

Geet Jeswani (SOC/BA '15) at work in the Media Innovation Lab.

The end of the spring semester marks the School of Communication’s first full academic year in American University's McKinley Building. Designed as a state-of-the-art facility, the building integrates historic elements with bold, new construction helping to further the reputation of the School of Communication (SOC) as a global leader in communication education.

McKinley features a 2,500-square-foot media innovation lab (MIL), acting as an interdisciplinary multimedia production laboratory where students can create content across media platforms.

Film and Media Arts professor Larry Engel describes the Media Innovation Lab as the “throbbing heart” of McKinley.


McKinley also includes top-tier technology, including a Sony 4K cinema projector in the 144-seat Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater, video wall, and audio broadcasting control room.

Journalism professor Jill Olmsted says the technology available at SOC provides students with unmatched real-life experience, particularly useful when applying for internships and jobs.


Not only is the media technology a staple throughout SOC’s new home, the state-of-the-art architecture also provides an open space, suitable for studying and cooperative creation.

Ana Srikanth, a sophomore Journalism and Anthropology major, says the open space makes for a better learning environment and increased opportunities for collaboration.

And while technology is ever-changing, SOC's mission remains constant: inspiring leaders through excellence in teaching, research, creativity and unique real-world opportunities.


Paola Chavez and Jordan-Marie Smith contributed to this article.